Komen CEO Nancy Brinker's salary under fire
While the breast cancer charity cancels races amid a drop in donations, its leader's lavish $684K pay sparks a backlash.
Susan G. Komen, the largest breast cancer charity, has struggled financially over the past two years after a controversy involving Planned Parenthood led to a drop in donations and the cancellation of some races.
But those challenges apparently aren't reflected in its chief executive's pay. CEO Nancy Brinker has received a whopping 64% raise, bringing her salary to $684,000 a year, NBC News reports.
Komen said the raise, which was disclosed recently in tax documents, came in November 2010, before the issues arose with Planned Parenthood and the charity had to cut half of its 3-Day races for 2014.
One watchdog group called her salary "extremely high."
"It's about a quarter of a million dollars more than what we see for charities of this size. . . . This is more than the head of the Red Cross is making for an organization that is one-tenth the size of the Red Cross," Ken Berger, the president and CEO of charity evaluator Charity Navigator, told NBC.
Brinker is outearning not only her equal at the Red Cross but those at several other large charities as well. Feeding America, the fourth-largest U.S. charity, pays its CEO about $409,000, according to Charity Navigator. Komen ranks as the country's 40th-largest charity, according to Forbes.
Komen defended Brinker's salary. A spokeswoman noted she "did not receive a pay increase in 2011 and did not accept one in 2012, nor will she receive one in 2013." Brinker said last year she would leave her role, but she's still sitting in the CEO seat.
Brinker's spending was the focus of a 2012 report from the Daily Beast, which noted that the former U.S. ambassador to Hungary billed the foundation $133,507 in expenses in a roughly 19-month period.
At the time of the expense claims, Brinker was actually a full-time federal employee, having been tapped by President George W. Bush to serve as the chief of protocol for the State Department.
The expenses, which covered some travel and office costs, were approved by Komen's board because Brinker was the founder of the group, the story said.
Komen, which raises money through a series of running events, suffered a drop in race participation after it stopped funding Planned Parenthood, which angered many of its supporters. (Komen also supports the use of pink-ribbon marketing by corporate partners such as General Mills' (GIS) Yoplait.)
The latest controversy is only ramping up more anger against the organization.
Breast cancer survivor and former Komen race participant Lisa Bonchek Adams told the Daily Beast, "If Nancy Brinker were smart, she'd say: 'Gee, I took $685,000 in salary last year. Whatever we need to make these events go on, how about I give up my salary for a year?'"
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
S/A's Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 Billion dollar organization. And he does it very very well!
Lot`s of charities pay the top brass big bucks.Don`t forget all the perks they receive.If
they really believed in the cause, wouldn`t 50k a year be fine?
My advice is to give direct to the people you would like to Help.
Google the phrase "Red Cross scandals" and you'll see that many of the big name charities have these types of issues. The more money involved, the bigger the fiefdom, the greater the abuse of power.
The lady ginned up a wondrous "good works nonprofit" cash cow and has been living high off it for years. Flushed with arrogance, her board felt free to screw the pooch with that neocon Planned Parenthood defunding directive a while back.
Hopefully the dame is kaput, but let's be charitable. Before she goes let her hit the expense account for one more facelift. Based on her photo, seeing that mess walk down the street has GOT to be rough on children and small animals.
Plus I"ve heard that Komin sues orginaizations for using the phrase "The Cure"
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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